Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Blog Website -

BLOGGING... I don't do it enough, but isn't it easier to just post on facebook?

For those that WANT to follow our blog, please visit and click "Follow."

I am not a frequent blogger, so you won't get a lot of junk sent to you... Well, maybe in the summer when we are hauling in veggies like gangbusters - LOL!

NOTE: Current blog subscribers will see that this is a change from which we have used for years. We have decided to switch to a new platform which is much cleaner and easier to read and use. Please consider taking just a moment to follow the new blog. Thank you for your kind attention.

OR it may be easier to remember which points to the blog...

Thanks and may your strawberries always be sweet :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Watermelons In September?

I admit it.

Late July was NOT the time to buy watermelon starts at the local nursery and think I could actually get results this growing season... 

But I WANT watermelons. I had almost given up, until this morning:

Our September watermelons. Notice the one on the right climbing the air conditioner...
YES! There may be a juicy melon yet! 

Hopefully we will have a few more weeks of warm weather to mature them.

Repeat after me: I will plant watermelons early next year, I will plant watermelons early next year..."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fuzzy Caterpillars

These caterpillars are eating our garden! They are about 3 inches long now.

About 2 weeks ago, they were about 1 1/2 inches long, and someone suggested that they might be tent caterpillars.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tip: Double-check your species when purchasing from nurseries

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

It happened again. We purchased 4 Calendulas - or pot marigolds - at a local nursery. They are wonderful companion plants for all your garden veggies, helping with insects and other things. Unfortunately, although the 4-inch plants were blooming and looked like Calendula, and were in fact labeled Calendula, they are actually tickseed! Argh!!! Especially now that they are planted ever so precisely where I wanted my Calendula! Calendula officinalis, that is...

This is Tickseed, or Coreopsis

This is Calendula officinalis - Pot Marigold

Last year, when purchasing medicinal plants for our garden, I bought a 1 gallon Valerian plant. I asked the gardener for Valerian. He showed me Valerian. It was labeled Valerian. It turns out that my medicinal Valerian is actually Jupiter's Beard - or "Centhranthus ruber," also known as Red Valerian. How was I to know that  Red Valerian was not true medicinal Valerian which is Valeriana officinalis. 

What to Do: Know your plants by scientific name and by sight. I love my Western Garden Book with photos and illustrations by Sunset Publishing - the makers of Sunset Magazine. If I had consulted it before purchase, I would not have this problem!

10 foot sunflower!

I have no idea what this bug is....

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Complete Destruction of a Sunflower!

Well, one of our sunflowers is playing trap crop to a host of caterpillars. It looks like the mother butterfly layed all her eggs in one basket, as it were. We haven't found any caterpillars on the surrounding plants except one. 

I noticed the leaves of the sunflower had all turned brown, and upon closer inspection found the following. The question is, to let them continue as is, or uproot the stalk? On the one hand, since they seem so happy there, perhaps they will leave the other plants alone. On the other hand, the destruction is so complete, could this affect the other plants in our garden?

What do YOU think?

Unaffected Sunflower just 2 feet away

Learn More:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Datura - But What Kind?

My husband found this hanging on a bush by the roadside. We have figured out that it is probably in the Datura Family... However, we don't know which Datura it is.

It opened itself up while sitting on my shelf and started spitting out these large dark, brown/green seeds.

We have read that Daturas are poisonous. Judging by its looks, no doubt!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Terrific Tabletop Garden

A Terrific Tabletop Garden

Hey all of you San Diego gardeners with back trouble! You, too, can still garden with this great idea from Mother Earth News.

Even if you do not have back pain, this idea is worth considering for anyone who does not have plentiful ground space to work with.

Don't have an old workbench? Check out Craigslist for old throwaway items!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Honey Bees Making a Comeback? - San Diego

A swarm of honeybees hit our backyard today!

Our organic garden is going to love it if these bees decide to stick around and make a hive...

Bees swarm when a group leaves the main hive and sets off to create a new one.

There is usually no need for alarm, bees are usually not agressive during this stage of their lifecycle.

They create a huge ball of bees which is a small pitstop while scouts go looking for a good hive location.

We have seen 2 swarms in 2 days. Hopefully this is a sign that honeybees are making a comeback!

Read more about swarming:

What is happening to honey bee research?



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Monday, March 29, 2010

Companion Planting Recommended Books

With the thousands of books that have been written about gardening, organic gardening, and companion planting, you may find it difficult to choose the right book for you...

We found ourselves in the same situation. Perhaps our choice of books will help you to narrow down your purchase...

For Companion Planting, we purchased the following two books:

  1. Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
  2. Secrets of Companion Planting: Plants That Help, Plants That Hurt
What one book leaves out, the other includes.

Our favorite tip:

Plant Borage! This beautiful plant will re-seed itself for the next year as well. Plant near your tomatoes - they love them! Not only that, borage attract bees which will also come across your tomatoes, peppers and other veggies. Other benefits of borage - the flowers look rather lovely in a vase, providing beautiful filler and added color to floral arrangements.

Borage is also an edible salad green, and the flowers are an anti-depressant! Eduardo Machado, a plant specialist from Uruguay recommends eating 7 flowers a day to keep the blues away. They're not bad!

Other methods we have used successfully include growing garlic and parsley near your roses...

More photos coming soon - please stay tuned!